Andy Hessenthaler chats to the club website as plans continue ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.
At ME7 Andy Hessenthaler surely needs no introduction, but let's give him one anyway. The club legend has pulled on the Gills shirt more than 300 times, appeared twice for them at Wembley, managed the team on three occasions (one as part of the `Gang of Four`) and guided the side to their highest ever league position whilst also enjoying their greatest ever FA Cup run.
After joining the club once more in January, this time as Head of Recruitment, he played a key role, along with Manager Neil Harris and Director of Football Kenny Jackett, in turning around the fortunes on his beloved team.
Speaking exclusively to the club website Hessenthaler says the three of them will leave no stone unturned in their efforts to rise up the leagues and once again build something special.
"This club is a big part of my life," he confessed. "I am enjoying the role and more so because I am back at the club that I love. The feel-good factor is back and it feels like the good old days.
"These are exciting times. The good thing for the manager is that we already have 16 players at the football club, which is good news. We have a real good core of players and we just have to add to that in the coming weeks. We are confident we will get the right players to get us to where we want to be next season.
"This is a new role for me but it is something I have thought about for many years. I've been a player, a manager, a coach and recruitment is something I feel is one of my strengths. I enjoy getting out and watching players and making sure we get the right players in. Kenny has a wealth of experience and it's a new role for him. There is a real good group of professional people in the club. Our remit for next year is that we want to get promoted.
"The recruitment team will be speaking to a lot of agents and a lot of players. We have got a really good list of players and targets who we are monitoring and speaking to, but that has really been ongoing since we came in back in January. There are players we went for in January but didn't get and we are targeting them for the summer window. It's been an ongoing process since Kenny and myself came into the club."
The synergy between Kenny, Neil and Hess seems to be working in perfect harmony and if the recruitment in January is any indication of what is to come then Gillingham really will be travelling on a positive path.
"The structure is really good," said Hess. "Myself, Neil and Kenny have to agree on the target. We are in all recruitment, we have been in the game so long that we have a lot of contacts between the three of us.
"As a three we do a lot of homework. Players are given to us every day and there are so many players looking for clubs, the list gets longer every year. We are not just looking in England: we are looking in Ireland, we are looking in Scotland, we are looking in Europe. We are a club that wants to go places and try and get back to the Championship.
"Next season we are looking at having a B team, something the club has never had, that would be great for us and makes a pathway to the first team. There should be a little bit more about that in the coming weeks, it's something Brad Galinson wanted to do when he came in. I do believe it will happen and we will have a B team next year.
"These are exciting times for our football club. We have a good group of players at the club and in my gut I feel like next year could be a really good year for us. I just have that feeling because I know the club so well."